Colony Dam, Susan River

The Colony Dam, Susan River, November 1897. Courtesy of Betty Barry Deal
In November 1897, the Colonial Irrigation Company of the Honey Lake Valley, part of the Standish Colony operation began work on the controversial Colony Dam on the Susan River, near that community. The construction of the dam outraged their neighbors downstream in the Tule District, who claimed it obstructed their water flow and riparian rights. The Tule folks took the matter to court and not only asked for an injunction, but demanded the $12,000 dam be removed as a nuisance. Lewis Brubeck, who owned the Smith place in the Tules (now the Fleming Unit of Fish & Game), also filed a separate lawsuit against the Company in 1898, as the waters of the river had been diverted, never reaching his property. The Brubeck verdict was important to the Tule people, for while Brubeck only received a damage award of $750, the court placed a restraining order against the Company, preventing the Company from irrigating any other lands until Brubeck’s lands were thoroughly irrigated.

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